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arts4peace Festival

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
November 14-24, 2019

Download Program

Unsung Heroes

The Unsung Heroes Project aimed to identify people from around the country who have dedicated their time to reviving, preserving, and developing the arts. We wish to express our gratitude for the work that they have done. We worked with nine local researchers, who traveled to every province to identify and interview artists and cultural practitioners. For the past 6 months, they have met and interviewed people who have dedicated their lives to the arts. During the festival we featured stories from 25 of the Unsung Heroes that we discovered on that journey. This exhibition was created by TAN Vatey and Sinta WIBOWO.

MAO Sophorn

Province: Pursat
Birth Year:
Skill: Choreographer and cultural art leader

“After the collapse of the Pol Pot regime, we lost everything, there was nothing left behind, everything was gone. After Pol Pot times, I came to work in the Department of Culture and Fine Arts of Pursat Province. I remember looking for coconut shells, bamboo and other materials so we could make musical instruments. To me, art must connect with our daily lives. 'The Cardamom Picking Dance' can be shown as the example. I studied and observed every gestures of picking cardamom and the way they put it in basket ensuring that this performing dance can depict social reality. In short, I have tried to create identity for Pursat province through art and culture. Khmer art has such value. Please don't appreciate art only with your eyes, use your head to interpret what you see, the symbols and gestures of Khmer art are a language.”

Researcher: CHHUN Kimly

More Unsung Heroes

KLOTH Sameth
NHEK Kosal